Common Sorrel
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Common Sorrel
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Common Sorrel, Spinach dock, Narrow-leaved dock, Garden sorrel • Hindi: चुक Chuk • Kannada: Pundi • Nepali: अमिले घाँस, Amile ghans, हले Hale • Sanskrit: चुत्रिका Chutrika • Telugu: Chukkakura
Botanical name: Rumex acetosa    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)
Synonyms: Acetosa hastifolia, Acetosa amplexicaulis, Acetosa officinalis

Common Sorrel is a perennial herb with stem erect, up to 4 ft high, leafy. Leaves are arrowshaped of variable size; basal leaves 2-4 times as long as broad, oblong-elliptic, with pointed basal downwards directed lobes and long leaf-stalks. Stem leaves upwards become gradually smaller and with shorter leaf-stalks, the uppermost are stalkless with stem-clasping basal lobes. Taste of leaves is sour. Flowers form red, narrow, loose panicles with non fasciculate simple or little divided branches. Flowers are dioecious, arranged in few-flowered whorls. External tepals are reflexed, appressed to the articulate flower-stalk. Valves are nearly round, 3-3.5 mm in diameter, membranous, finely netveined, with a small basal reflexed grain. Common sorrel has been cultivated for centuries. The leaves may be puréed in soups and sauces or added to salads; they have a flavour that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. The plant's sharp taste is due to oxalic acid, which is mildly toxic. Common Sorrel is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Nepal, at altitudes of 2100-4100 m. It is also found in Europe, W. Asia, Tibet, Siberia, China, Japan, N. America.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.

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